Happy Birthday to Me
It's my birthday, it's my birthday, it's my birthday!! You'll have to excuse me - I may be a grown-ass woman but I haven't lost that childlike giddiness when my birthday rolls around! Actually, I can blame some of today's exuberence on this morning's champagne and pain au chocolate breakfast - nothing like a sugar rush to kick off my 39th year!
These thirty-nine years have taught me a thing or two, but rather than venturing into the labyrinth of self-reflection I will sum up my current musing with two simple words: Be Present.
I know, "be present" might sound trite. Might? Fine, it does sound trite. And why shouldn't it? it's a message we hear all the time - a catchy sentiment used to market sneakers, and mobile phone plans, and cheap ice cream. But what happens when we really mean it? What happens when we exist in a moment so wholly that the magic of it becomes a part of us?
Today, I meant it.
I meant to be present as I meandered the graceful Parisian avenues, paying no mind to any particular destination but, instead, absorbing the chattering sounds of Paris and the way the air smells just as Spring bursts the buds, one by one.
I meant to be present, savoring this velvety miracle from Pierre Hermé, allowing the raspberry créme to melt into my senses bite by teeny, tiny bite.
I meant to be present as the band played, and the crowds clapped, and the waves of the Seine splashed underfoot.
Walking through a whole day being fully present is both refreshing and oddly exhausting. All five senses were fully engaged - and I might as well include my sixth sense, too, because I truly believe that our intuition is dulled when we're coasting through life, chasing the next thing. It's amazing how connected we feel, both to ourselves and the world around us, when we stop coasting.
Now here I sit. Quietly. Typing away and sipping my Veuve Clicquot champagne, the door to my terrace open so I can hear the laughter below before I retouch my makeup, throw on my heels, and head back out into the Parisian streets in search of dinner and music.
Ah, to be present...
...the perfect birthday gift to myself.